500.A 4 e/225: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Houghton) to the Secretary of State


195. From Perkins.42

As a result of my informal talks with Mr. Waterlow,43 it appears that the British Government wholly concurs in the view that it is very important that the Special Conference meet at an early date. I am informed that the opinion which was expressed by Mr. Wellesley44 concerning the conference (see Embassy’s report No. 1031, January 30, 1925)45 does not describe the policy which the British Government now wishes to follow. The British place much importance upon concerted action on the part of America, Japan, and Great Britain, and Waterlow suggests that these powers should inform the Chinese Government that they are ready to hold the Special Conference contingent upon a settlement of the Shanghai affair and the cessation of antiforeign agitation. Waterlow said it was essential that the Chinese should not receive the impression that the action of the powers is the result of pressure or weakness.
Waterlow believes the early meeting of the conference of such importance that technicalities should be brushed aside in the event of the French not proceeding to ratify the treaties. He fears that the French may not take early action on this subject.
Concerning the constitutionality of the Chinese Government and the question of the possibility of its agreements being repudiated by later governments, Waterlow is willing to short-circuit such matters and to negotiate with the Government as it now exists.
I am of the opinion that the British Government would be glad to consider any suggestion of the American Government looking toward action as above indicated.
  1. Mahlon F. Perkins, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State, who had been sent to London to confer with the British Foreign Office regarding the Special Conference for the Revision of the Chinese Customs Tariff.
  2. S. P. P. Waterlow, head of the Far Eastern Department of the British Foreign Office.
  3. Victor Wellesley, Assistant Under Secretary of State in the British Foreign Office.
  4. Not printed.